Balloon sinuplasty involves gentle insertion of a device into the nostrils.
Balloon sinuplasty involves gentle insertion of a device into the nostrils.

Because balloon sinuplasty does not involve any major cutting or incisions, it is a less painful procedure compared with standard surgical procedures performed for sinusitis. Balloon sinuplasty involves gentle insertion of a device into the nostrils. It is generally a safe and effective method to treat sinus problems. However, some of the general risks and complications associated with sinus surgery include:

  • Reduction or loss of sense of smell or taste
  • Chronic nasal drainage
  • Need for additional surgery and medical consultations
  • Empty nose syndrome
  • Damage to the eyes or base of the skull
  • Recurrence of the original sinus problem
  • Failure to resolve the sinus problem
  • Failure to resolve an infection
  • Bleeding

What is balloon sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty is an endoscopic procedure that relieves pain and pressure associated with chronic sinusitis. Balloon sinuplasty is the latest method to treat sinus-related disease. It involves expanding the natural drainage openings of the sinus passages. This procedure is mostly prescribed when medications and other therapies seem to be ineffective. The procedure aims at

  • Opening the blocked sinuses.
  • Restoring normal sinus drainage and function.

This procedure uses catheter-based equipment to open blocked sinuses.

The benefits of balloon sinuplasty are as follows:

  • It is minimally invasive, as there are no major incisions or cutting involved.
  • There is less bleeding, as it doesn’t involve tissue or bone removal.
  • Recovery time is faster than that for traditional surgery.
  • There is no need for nasal packing.
  • There is less risk of infection, bruising, and swelling.

Who should undergo balloon sinuplasty?

Balloon sinuplasty is the most effective in patients with an early diagnosis of sinusitis. However, as far as patients with chronic sinusitis are concerned, the probability of a positive outcome may decrease. Patients with the following symptoms may be ideal for balloon sinuplasty:


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What happens during balloon sinuplasty?

Before the procedure: Before the procedure, you may have to

  • Refrain from eating and drinking 8 hours before the surgery.
  • Check for fever.
  • Arrange for someone to bring you to and from the hospital.

During the procedure: The physician performs the following procedure:

  • They give general anesthesia or local anesthesia to the patient.
  • They insert a specially designed catheter into the nose to reach the inflamed sinus cavity.
  • Next, they inflate the balloon slowly to widen and restructure the walls of the nasal passage. This helps to drain the mucus from the blocked sinus.
  • In the end, they deflate the balloon and withdraw leaving an open sinus passageway.

After the procedure: After the balloon sinuplasty, you may have to

  • Keep resting with your head elevated.
  • Keep an icepack wrapped in a towel to stop any bleeding.
  • Take your prescribed medications.
  • Avoid any strenuous activities.

Inform the physician if you have

  • Excessive bleeding.
  • Sharp pain or headache.
  • Increased swelling of the nose and eyes.
  • Fever higher than 101°F.

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Medically Reviewed on 1/8/2021